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Sometimes where you eat and shop is determined by where you are. Pearl Road, on Cleveland's west side, has a variety of ethnic restaurants, markets, and bakeries all within a short walk or drive of one another. If you're traveling on or near Pearl Road, here's a sampling of where to find great ethnic fare all on one street!
6876 Pearl Rd.
Food available: Produce, grains, beans, flour, baked goods, canned & packaged goods, spices, condiments, tea, coffee, prepared frozen foods
Hours: Tue-Sat 11 a.m.-7:30 p.m., Sun 11 a.m.-6 p.m.; closed Mon
Payment: MC, VS, checks
Tucked among the larger stores that are part of Southland Shopping Center is this small, family-owned shop offering Indian and Pakistani foods. Some basic household staples are shelved with the pickled mangoes, chutney, and chili paste. You'll find fresh items like bitter melon, squash, long beans, Chinese okra, eggplant, guava, mango, rotis (bread), and Indian pastries. A wide selection of masala (spice mixtures) and sambal (spicy condiments).
12214 Pearl Rd.
Hours: Mon-Fri 5:30-9:30 p.m., Sat 5:30-10 p.m.; closed Sun
Reservations: Taken, recommended
Payment: MC, VS, AX, DIS
The restaurant, located in a small, fairly new shopping plaza, has a formal air. The waiters, well dressed in white shirts and colorful ties, are professionals: they know how to use their crumb combs, pronounce the Italian name of each dish correctly, and pay meticulous attention to the details of fine service. Tables are dressed in purple-and-white linens with fresh flowers on each. This is definitely not a place for the kids when they're still in the throes of the terrible twos (or threes, fours, and fives).
Decor in this intimate 75-seat restaurant is contemporary, with black marble accents, and even the faucets in the restrooms are stylish. While waiting for your table you can relax on plush couches and leaf through Wine Spectator or drink at the five-seat bar in the back. Once you are seated, your waiter will bring bread and mix a dipping dish of extra-virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar tableside for you. Food preparation and presentation are decidedly artistic.
The cuisine is a blend of northern and southern influences; dishes are classic but in no way ordinary. Fusilli pasta is dressed in a rose cream sauce with pancetta (Italian bacon), onions, and vodka; capelli puttanesca is made with angel hair pasta, anchovies, capers, olives, and chile peppers; and the manicotti, stuffed with ricotta and spinach, comes in a tomato sauce bechamel. There's an interesting selection of antipasto and salads, chicken, and veal dishes, and a fabulous-looking dessert tray.
Samosky Home Bakery
6641 Pearl Rd.
Food available: Baked goods, beverages, coffee
Hours: Tue-Sat 7 a.m.-4 p.m.; closed Sun & Mon
Payment: MC, VS, AX, DIS, checks
Decorated to resemble an Old World bake shop with antique display cases, Samosky's has been in existence since 1910. And during that time they've continuously done what they do best: make traditional Polish baked goods, including hoska (a Polish bread traditionally served at Easter), paczki (donuts), and kolacky. They also make a variety of cookies, cakes, and pies, strudel, Hungarian nut and poppyseed rolls, angel wings, plus brownies, danish, ladylocks, and Russian tea biscuits. They also carry old-fashioned jellies, candies, and novelty gift items.
4882 Pearl Rd.
(216) 398-1548; (800) 450-2725
Food available: Meat (frozen), baked goods, canned & packaged goods, condiments, tea, prepared frozen foods
Hours: Tues-Fri 10 a.m.-6 p.m.; Sat 10 a.m.-5 p.m., Sun 1 p.m.-5 p.m., closed Mon
Payment: MC, VS, DIS, checks
The shelves here are well stocked with foods imported from Scotland, Ireland, Wales, and England. Products whose brand names are music to the ears of those who know them well include Bovril, Marmite, Branston Pickles, H.P. Sauce, and Cadbury Candies. There's a good selection of marmalades and teas. The store's own sausage is available frozen. Homemade meat pies, Cornish pasties, and sausage rolls are available, too.
Also made on the premises are black-and-mealy pudding, and haggis (a dish you must have grown up with to fully appreciate, as it consists of minced sheep or calf innards mixed with suet and oatmeal boiled together). Baked goods are fresh, too, and include tarts, shortbread, scones, and biscuits. Some gift items are available, including tartan accessories, made-to-order kilts, music, and jewelry. Parking is available in the rear or on the street.
Goodman's Sandwich Inn
5164 Pearl Rd. (at Brookpark)
Hours: Mon-Sat 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m.; closed Sun
Reservations: Not taken
Goodman's, which opened in 1950 and is still owned and operated by the Goodman family, may be one of the few delis left in town that still hand cuts its corned beef. Though its small, narrow space seats only 31, and its menu is equally abbreviated, the place draws those in the know who visit Cleveland, including movie and sports stars, and it's not unusual to see a limo or a motorcade parked out front.
Adult patrons often tell Dennis Goodman they remember coming in as kids with their parents. The lure is the corned beef, brisket, and pastrami sandwiches (hot or cold), which, according to one patron who's been a regular for 40 years, ". . . are the finest deli sandwiches, bar none, anywhere in this city, even the country." Worth a mention, too, are the egg specials: they're prepared, pancake-style, with corned beef, pastrami, or salami. The biggest part of the business is takeout. Located in the Pearl-Brookpark Shopping Center, so parking is easy.